The most perfect moment of my week occurred at 1:38 a.m. Thursday, as we welcomed our son into the world. It's the greatest feeling the world, as you parents out there know. Even an 0-4 showing in the Big Ten picks wouldn't have wiped the smile off my face.
Turns out, my perfect week was just getting started. I went 4-0 on the slate, thanks to Penn State's dramatic four-overtime win against Michigan, and moved one game ahead of Bennett in the season standings.
WEEK 7/SEASON RECORD
Adam Rittenberg: 4-0, 51-8
Brian Bennett: 3-1, 50-9
Here's one last look at the Week 7 predictions made by us and our guest forecaster, Barry Uphoff from Palo Alto, Calif.
It's rewind time
Indiana at Michigan State
Brian Bennett's pick: Michigan State 28, Indiana 21
Adam Rittenberg's pick: Michigan State 30, Indiana 20
Actual score: Michigan State 42, Indiana 28
20-20 hindsight: We both had fairly high score predictions for a game involving Michigan State, but evidently not high enough as the Spartans offense is starting to blossom. Brian correctly pegged a big game from Spartans RB Jeremy Langford (109 rush yards, 3 TDs), while my predictions for Nate Sudfeld, Trae Waynes and Macgarrett Kings fell short.
Nebraska at Purdue
Bennett's pick: Nebraska 38, Purdue 14
Rittenberg's pick: Nebraska 38, Purdue 21
Actual score: Nebraska 44, Purdue 7
20-20 hindsight: We both came close on the Huskers' score but expected more from Danny Etling and the Purdue offense against a defense that had been vulnerable most of the season. Nebraska QB Tommy Armstrong had a first-half touchdown run, not touchdown pass, as I had forecast, but Ameer Abdullah (126 rush yards) nearly nailed my prediction (130 rush yards). The Huskers picked off Etling just once, not twice, as Brian predicted they would.
Northwestern at Wisconsin
Bennett's pick: Wisconsin 33, Northwestern 30
Rittenberg's pick: Wisconsin 31, Northwestern 27
Actual score: Wisconsin 35, Northwestern 6
20-20 hindsight: Another prediction where we came close on one team's score and completely whiffed on the other team's. Then again, who expected Northwestern to forget to show up at Camp Randall Stadium? Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon had one long touchdown run (a 71-yarder), not the two I predicted, and Northwestern had no special teams touchdown (or any touchdown, for that matter). Joel Stave and Jared Abbrederis connected for one score, not the two Brian had predicted.
Michigan at Penn State
Bennett's pick: Michigan 28, Penn State 24
Rittenberg's pick: Penn State 38, Michigan 35
Actual score: Penn State 43, Michigan 40 (4 OT)
20-20 hindsight: I didn't see this one going to four overtimes, but otherwise I made a pretty strong forecast, as Penn State won a shootout by the predicted margin. Lions QB Christian Hackenberg eclipsed 250 pass yards, as I predicted, and Michigan QB Devin Gardner came up just 10 yards shy. Gardner and Jeremy Gallon (seven catches, 95 yards, TD) attacked Penn State's secondary, as Bennett thought they would, although Devin Funchess (112 yards receiving) had the bigger night and Zach Zwinak (eight carries, 24 yards) was quiet.
You've seen how we performed. Now it's time to check on our guest picker, Barry.
Michigan State 31, Indiana 21
Nebraska 35, Purdue 24
Wisconsin 35, Northwestern 28
Michigan 27, Penn State 24
Not too shabby with a 3-1 mark, although those score predictions need a little work, Barry. Like us, you expected something from Purdue and Northwestern and got next to nothing. The scoreboard operator in Happy Valley was a little busier than you expected.